Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ending on a good note.

Four wonderful and or exciting things have happened in the last two days. MY AEROBICS DVD IS HERE!!! Can you say home made? But that’s okay because the show was never put out on DVD, not even sure about video for that matter. So I have two DVD’s and eight episodes. Woot!


And .. remember my old man cat Riley going to the vet and having blood work done? Yeah, so he is in the early stages of hyperthyroidism which is not unusual for a cat his age. I was given medication for him but I am also trying something else. I consulted with Holly, over at A Spiritual Dog Blog, about treating Riley with herbs. She has been studying and working really hard to gain the knowledge to treat animals holistically with Chinese herbs. Her business is taking off – she’s very busy these days but she put together an herbal formula based on Riley’s symptoms and age, etc, and got it to me in like 2 days. I have her button on my side bar; have a look. I am so happy for her success and grateful for her help with Riley! Thank you Holly!


At the end of last year sometime I wrote about Andy Clary, a friend from 25 years ago asking – does anyone know where he is?? I have seen some Google searches for the name, but no one has ever contacted me until this morning. An old friend of one of Andy’s sisters emailed me to say she doesn’t know directly where Andy is now but she does run into his sister from time to time and will try to help me make the connection if she can. I was thrilled to get that email – it’s the closest I’ve come to finding Andy again so it’s exciting! And I thank Deb for making my day!


Speaking of making my day .. ! Thursday night I couldn’t sleep. At.all. Consequently, going to work yesterday morning was brutal. I do not function well without any sleep so was not nearly as productive at my job as I would have liked to be and it was a very long day. So it was a wonderful surprise at the end of my work day to get a phone call from my BF that he was outside waiting for me. I packed up my laptop and lunchbox, grabbed my purse and my jacket and keys … it never ends. Anyway, I went outside to my car and opened the door to put all my baggage inside – and a glorious smell wafted out. There was a water bottle with lilacs in it sitting in one of my cup holders! I had mentioned seeing some as I was waiting for a red light the other day and he remembered and surprised me with some he followed his nose to find. And then he was beside me to seal it with a kiss. Sigh-h. And the picture? My lilacs are sitting next to the roses my BF gave me earlier in the week.


I know, right?

*

**Edited to add- I just realized by the picture and what I wrote, it almost looks like Holly treats mostly cats. But the flipside of that card has a picture of a dog on it! I would venture to guess she treats more dogs than cats but can obviously do both. Don't want any dog owners to be discouraged!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I need to find my leg warmers

Does anybody remember this? The 20 minute workout? It was an exercise show in the 80’s. It was permed hair and “let’s get physical” workout clothes. It may have been one of the first aerobic workout shows on TV. I had just had Andy, my first child, in 1984. This show was a big part of my losing the baby weight. It was hardcore for someone not athletic like me, and I didn’t have to have the coordination of a choreographer to do it.


At least that’s how I remember it.


The show was on at something like 5:00 a.m. so I’m not sure how I found it, but when I discovered there was no way I was going to get up at that hour to exercise – I taped as many episodes as I could and would do it later in the day. Because we had bought our first ($700.00) VCR. Yes, you read that right. They were expensive back then. Or possibly my ex-husband told me that’s what he spent the money on, but anyway .. !


There wasn’t a single person who was the star, from episode to episode there would be different women leading the work out for that day. There were always other women doing the routine with her and managing to look gorgeous all the way through.


I had not seen anything of the show since the 80’s and trying to find it on the internet now, I was in for some surprises.


I do not remember the way it was shot and the makeup and spandex looking anything like porn back then. There were a lot of shots of women from above looking down on them as they bent over and touched their forearms to the floor and bounced, bounced, bounced. Again shooting from above there was always at least one girl who would make that eye contact with the camera as she slowly did the cool down, raising her arms over her head and looking up as she did so.


It was shot ‘in the round’ basically; it had to be the camera going around the girls because they couldn’t have been working that hard on a moving platform. But the camera angles allowed you to see every exercise from all the angles you would want or need to. Now I kind of wonder how many guys watched it for a completely different reason than I did!


I will say that looking at it now, the stills look worse than the video, but I just didn’t see it as super sexy back then. Was I that na├»ve? Or did I just want to get into shape that bad?


All I remember was looking at those women and thinking what perfect bodies they had, and how badly I wanted to look like them. There were no fake boobs on that show either, just pretty, very well toned women.


Exercise and I are not friends. There have been times in my life where I got into a good routine and worked out on a regular basis, and sometimes it lasted quite a while. But I’ve always stopped. And for a long time I’ve thought – man – that show ought to come back – I loved that show! I would exercise if I had that show to motivate me!


Uh huh.


I decided to try to find it and it was very difficult. I finally found a 2 DVD set with 8 episodes on – where else – eBay. Of course I bought it and it’s on its way. Either I will kill myself trying to do the work out I did literally 20 years ago, or I will give myself a break and alter it until I can catch up.


Or, I will remind myself that when I did that work out I was 25 years old, didn’t have any plates or screws in my ankle, and no cats to trip over, and plop down on the couch with a tub of caramel corn and a creme soda and watch my daughter do it. She is SO going to laugh when she sees the hair and outfits. If nothing else – it will be good for a chuckle!


This video is 10 minutes long, but at least have a peek. I know you'll want to go dig out some sweat bands and leotards and get going! Or not. But it IS worth a look.



Admit it. You SO want to get physical now, don't you?


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spiders, June bugs and memory dumps

So I am up and running again. I did one of those – I’ll wait till later and try to turn it on again, as if waiting 2 hours is going to make a difference. Except it did. Hmmm. My fan has been running loudly and non-stop for a while now. It has been suggested that my laptop is over heating. I guess that’s a possibility.


I vacuumed any vent I could see hoping to suck any dust and or cat hair out of there. Don’t know if that helped or just letting it completely cool down did. The error I’ve gotten twice in the last few days was scary, Windows just shutting down and giving me the blue screen. “Beginning memory dump.” WHAT??? “Memory dump complete.” Argh-h-h. (see Shelagh? Even my computer says it took a dump!!) :)


After that one I did what I would normally do – look the error up on the internet! Found the only real suggestion I could do was a scan disk, essentially, and to load Microsoft’s newest service pack. I was also advised to make sure that anything new I may have installed, is installed properly. Well how am I supposed to know that?



I’ve never seen a program pop up and say “just a friendly note to let you know I’m not installed properly.” No, I get things that say “A disk read error has occurred” Uh huh, what’s that? And when I try ctrl+alt+delete to restart a couple of times, I get another message “No bootable devices – strike F1 … yada yada yada.” And then … No boot device available – internal hard drive ..” It all sounds so bad.


But – it came back up, slowly, told me it had recovered from a serious error which I found absurd but – okay. So I’ve had my computer going down and back up again and giving me strange messages. I had ants in my kitchen today and what I didn’t mention earlier is that I could not get my oven to work and my toaster oven decided to toast only from the bottom now. Yay. How many strikes do you get in one day??


A little while ago I hopped in my car with a raging headache to drop a package at the post office. Leaving the house the wind was starting to gust and I felt a web go across my face as I stepped off the porch. I hate that! You don’t see the spider but you know he’s there. Watching you. Ee-e-w-w. And what was gracing the window next to the door as well as on the screen on the door? Yeah, June bugs. They’re close, it’s getting toward the end of may. They are a lot darker this year for some reason, makes them even creepier.


I may hate the beetles but they make for some good clean fun for Abby, she’d love it if one of them actually got in the house. At least she thinks so. In reality my cats rarely know what to do with a bug other than bat at it till it just gives up and dies and they lose interest. Jake is usually the only one who will actually chase one and eat it.



Click on the picture to better view the bugs. Ick.


Anyway, now I am at my computer – using a chill mat of my son's that he had but had never opened. And really, the bottom of my laptop is much cooler to the touch. So we are alive again, whether or not it is temporary remains to be seen. I’m hoping for a better and more productive day tomorrow without a major headache or computer problems. And ants, I don’t want anymore ants. Blech-h-h.


**Edited to add - Try the daily jigsaw on the right sidebar! I actually have a jigsaw program on my desktop and I find it very relaxing to do one or two now and again, so I had to try this widget when I found it.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Suffering


I am horribly dependent on my computer. Attached would not even begin to cover it. The last couple of days I have been getting errors of impending doom, a few blue screen of death errors and today, well, I am posting from my daughter's computer. Hi Dani! She is not home.


Today apparently I have no bootable devices. Sigh-h-h. So, if I am not visiting or commenting or even posting as much as usual, that would be why.


Oh and then - right after my laptop took a dump I went into the kitchen to throw something in the garbage and saw these black splotches on the floor. I had to get my glasses to see the splotches were ants. Freaking ants! Not very bright ants either. This house is on a slab and when we get a lot of rain like we did last night the ants decide that INSIDE is where they need to get out of the rain. So there was a trail of ants from the side door to in front of the garbage cabinet. They were all milling around a crumb or 2 not 3 feet away from cat food left over from kitty breakfast. ??? Fighting over crumbs while a veritable ant feast sat a few feet away.


The ants picked a bad time to mess with me. They are all very dead, the kitty food is in the garbage and my computer sits abandoned. Sounds like a really good time to take a nap.


Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day without any ants or dead boot devices!




Saturday, May 24, 2008

I should change the name.


This is the risk she takes when my daughter comes home from school and does not put her belongings out of the reach of the cats.




To them it's a new opportunity to nest.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Catnip makes it all better

I needed to take my crabby old man cat Riley, to the vet today. I take him to a cat clinic so there are no run-ins with dogs or ferrets or any other manner of pets in the waiting room. Other cats are bad enough. Turns out he’s older than I thought. I thought he was 13 years old but according to the records at the vet, he’s 15 years old. “He is?” I asked.

*blink blink*

“That’s what it says here on his chart.”


*blink blink*


“Oh.” Long pause … “Um, okay.”


There are things in my life that I figure out the timing of by how it correlates to when I was divorced. BD (before divorce) and AD (after divorce). Except there is a difference between when my now ex-husband moved out – and when we were actually divorced.



Appare
ntly though, I don’t delve too deeply into anything from around that time of my life. I’ve blocked things out. When I was going to a therapist in the midst of it all - I had a lot of confusion about the timing of things. My therapist said it was because I was “emotionally divorced” long before I was ever legally divorced.


I’m also one of those people who moves the time on my alarm clock forward because it fools me in the morning when I am just waking up. But I digress.


Here I was thinking my cat was 13 years old because I got him the year I got divorced. But really he’s 15 because I brought him home the year my ex actually moved out of the house. It’s funny the way people protect themselves emotionally like that but sometimes I find it unnerving. It never bothers me for long though because I just shove it in the back of my mind and move on.


Instead, I worry about the cat and his slight heart murmur, his weight loss and his constant hunger. The doctor took blood and urine and we will find out what’s going on in a few days.


Waiting to pay my bill I grabbed a little catnip toy they were selling, pulled the tag off and tossed it inside the carrier with Riley. Nobody even noticed, I could have just walked out with my $1.99 freebie. But, I gave the tag to the girl behind the counter and paid for it. It kept Riley happy and quiet on the ride home.



When we got home I set the carrier down and opened the door. I love how the other cats looked
at Riley like he was a stranger because he had been out of the house for an hour. He stepped out of the carrier with his little heart-shaped catnip toy in his mouth and proceeded to lick it and roll on it for at least 45 minutes after we got home. Now he is sleeping next to the soggy mess.



He’s happy. He doesn’t care if he’s 13 or 15 or if I knew which it was. He doesn’t know why I brought him to that place that smells like hundreds of other cats, he only knows that I brought him back home and I gave him a new toy. Ah-h-h, to be a cat.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random storage

Coming home from work every day there are some things I always do. Some things I must divest myself of, the only thing that comes first is setting down my purse, keys, and lunch box.


I always change my pants, change into something comfortable and hopefully stretchy. After that I must remove my earrings. Okay that's a little weird, I know. I leave the studs in the back holes but whatever I'm wearing in the front have to come off. Or out. However you want to say it. I have a lovely stand for my earrings in my bedroom but do you think that's where I leave them? Uh ... occasionally.



For the most part, it's here. In the bathroom.



It's part of my decor, yeah, that's it! What do you think?



If you guessed I'm lazy - you would be right.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Ibuprophen is STILL my friend.


So it there anything I won’t write about? Yeah I’m sure there is – but I’m not telling.


Believe it or not the back pain from my yard work yesterday was a little bit better than I thought it would be today. Of course it helps that I took a handful of Ibuprophen almost before my feet hit the floor this morning.


But the back pain and arthritis pain in my hands was not enough. I had to do something to bring on more pain so I went to the doctor and let her stick a catheter into my uterus and fill it with saline. Like a water balloon. And then a guy named Dan (yes, another Dan) put slimy stuff on my belly and took pictures.


Let me assure you, fun was had by all. I was doing a one woman show about living with 4 cats and doing quite well when the doctor said “keep talking about the cats but you’ll feel a bit of pressure now, we’re filling you up.” Wait! I didn't ask for a full tank! That’s when I lost my train of thought and said “pressure? That’s pain not pressure! Ouch!!”


Thankfully it was over before I had a chance to think of something else funny to say and they didn’t find anything like polyps, spare keys or God forbid, another cat.


I was left with immediate cramps and ….. back pain (wouldn’t ya know) and a few extras which I imagine will last a few days. So what do you think? Can I find something painful to do tomorrow?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ibuprophen is my friend.


I don’t have one of those electric or gas powered hedge trimmers and to be honest, I’m a little afraid of them. When I was in high school my mom was outside with the hedge trimmer while I, ever the selfish teenager, was in the house being self absorbed I’m sure.


Mom came in the house and went straight to the bathroom and something about it just didn’t sound right. When I checked it out – there was blood on the carpet. There was blood at the front door and on the porch. I went to the bathroom door and heard “go next door and get Kenny, tell him I need to go to the hospital!”


AGH-H-H-H!!!!! (that was me.)


I ran next door and told our neighbor that my mom had an accident with the hedge trimmer and needed to go to the hospital. Then I went out into the yard where the hedge trimmer was laying and …yeah … I looked for fingers. I had no idea if there were fingers out there but I was prepared to pick them up and put them in a baggie with ice.


Turned out that her little finger was broken and she needed a bunch of stitches, but all her
fingers were attached. So you can see why I might be a little frightened of that particular landscaping tool.


Which is why I was outside today with the old fashioned kind of clippers hacking away at the bushes in front of the house. (spell check REALLY hates my grammar.) Part way through I realized that I had owned this pair of clippers for over 10 years and they’ve never been sharpened so you can imagine how easy they were to use. Heh. I had skipped doing the bushes last year so they had a lot of growth that needed to be cut off and a lot of shaping to be done.


Yard work, or any manual labor for that matter, is not my favorite thing. It would help I suppose
if I did it every now and then so it wasn’t such a shock to my system when I finally do get my butt out there to get it done. But I don’t and it is.


It’s been 6 hours since I was out trimming the bushes. My arms feel like lead, my hands shake
when I lift a drink to my mouth, and fine motor skills are non-existent due to the screaming arthritis pain in my thumbs right now. But the worst? My back. Oh.my.God.


Once I get the laundry folded and my lunch ready for work tomorrow, I am curling up in bed on my side with a pillow between my knees and praying it’s not worse tomorrow.


I’m pretending that’s actually a possibility or I might have nightmares.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shopping at the E's


Since I am an online shopper, you would assume I have had good experiences and bad. Your assumption would be correct. Regardless of the bad experiences I have had none of them have been bad enough to stop me from shopping that way.


One of the newest things I have found is an plug-in that allows me to use PayPal for sites that don’t even take it. It is the coolest thing ever. For people who are afraid to shop online because they don’t want to spread their credit card or banking info all over the place, it is ideal. PayPal is the only place that needs that information from you and even if you’re comfortable using your credit cards online – it has an auto-fill feature which means you don’t have to type your name, address, or credit card number at.all. For some people it might make things TOO easy but I love it!


Shopping on eBay and then selling on Etsy has given me an appreciation for the difference between the 2 places. Some people think one site is better *ahem* than the other, but I think they are just different, and I use them for different things. I go to eBay for a deal, or to find something I can’t find easily anywhere else. I go to Etsy when I am looking for something unique and handmade.


Something both sites have in common (besides PayPal) is the practice of leaving feedback. I shopped on eBay for a long time before I ever sold anything on Etsy so I was very familiar with leaving feedback after purchasing something. But sometimes I found that on eBay leaving bad feedback almost felt like a strike against you – as much as a strike against the seller. Lately eBay has changed it so some of your feedback options are left anonymously so you can feel more comfortable saying what you really feel.


On Etsy the feedback option is just that – optional. Very few sellers will actually email you and ask you to leave feedback after you buy from them, it’s just a different vibe. But those that DO email for feedback from either site? They are risking my not shopping with them again.


When I was a kid my Mom used to say – or maybe it was my ex-husband – who cares. Anyway – whoever it was used to say – if you want BetteJo to do something, tell her to do the opposite. I am stubborn and dislike being told what to do. In a work environment or being trained in something, of course I can take instruction. But when I buy something from you, and you email me and say “PLEASE LEAVE FEEDBACK THANK YOU” – I probably won’t. Just sayin’.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Rainbows, moonbeams, and butterflies.

Well she’s ba-a-a-c-k….! With all her stuff. Dani had a single room at college this year which means it was more like an apartment judging by the amount of stuff she accumulated. There are bags and boxes of God knows what in the living room, the garage, and I hope she has at least some of it in her bedroom.


She brought back all kinds of stuff, even the new boy. Looking for a picture of him? Well, we killed him. He is stashed under a couple of those black garbage bags with his face pressed into the cat hair covered carpet.


Except – she’s smiling while she is posing in the midst of her college possessions so I’m guessing you know I’m fooling. No, the new boy has gone back to where he lives, safe and sound and without any eye swelling that I saw and only a few sneezes. Hallelujah. We DIDN’T kill him.


I’m not going to do a whole critique here, how rude would that be? He seems like a very nice guy, honest, very forthright and intelligent. He’s got a good sense of humor, a bit on the odd side, so he fits right in. The only strike he has against him is that he is dating my daughter and I don’t know him. I would say that’s a natural strike any guy will start out with until he’s been around for a while so I’m not picking on him. Oh by the way – his name is Dan.


We’re a little Dan heavy around here. My son hangs out with a guy named Dan, and sometimes this other guy named Dan. My brother’s name is Dan, my daughter is Dani and her new boy is Dan. STOP THE MADNESS!!! Oh sorry. Just a little Dan crazy for a second there.


My daughter is home, and so happy with this new boy I’m tempted to lift up her skirt to verify that rainbows and moonbeams really are shooting out of her butt. With butterflies. And possibly kittens.



Um, but I won’t. Have to draw the line somewhere.





Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mark my words ..


I will never, ever, in my life have 4 cats all at one time again. Ever. Did I mention never?


Don't get me wrong. I love these cats, I do. If I had a bigger
house with a basement room just for litter boxes and could afford to pay someone to come in and vacuum and de-fur every single day, I would probably have more than 4.


But this house isn't that big and I don't vacuum every day. The litter boxes are in the utility room because there is no basement. And the cats are everywhere. Or so it seems.


I only meant to have 2 and I think that is a reasonable, manageable number for most people, and I have told how I came to have more. I'm really not sitting here plotting how to get rid of any of them and I'm not waiting impatiently for any of them to die. But oh, the hair.


My daughter did not tell me how allergic the new boy is. The idea of someone who may be
severely allergic to cats coming into my home makes MY throat start to close. I can vacuum, I can wipe down furniture and poke into the corners and crevices where hair can hide and it would still never be enough. I can de-hair to my heart's content but if someone is truly horribly allergic none of it will make a difference. I cannot get rid of all the dander and cat bits that can't be seen with the naked eye.


So, for Mother's Day I am hoping my daughter will come home and I will meet the new boy without having to jam an epi-pen into his leg. Wish me luck, will you?

And for all of you mothers out there, I wish you the best day ever!




Happy Mother's Day!!!







Friday, May 9, 2008

Longing for the test pattern

Do you remember when you would fall asleep with the TV on and about two or three a.m. there would be an announcement. “This concludes our broadcast day. Something something something something. And now … the National Anthem.” A waving flag would come on the screen while the music played, sans singing, and when it was done – the test pattern would come on. Just the test pattern. After that, snow. The TV day was over, it ended people. Every.Single.Day.


Remember when people would lie down and go to sleep at night the normal way? When they got tired? Remember when I used to have a mind?


Oh. Well, maybe you don’t.


Not too long ago the doctor prescribed something to help me sleep. After a while I realized it was not only giving me headaches, but it was making me somewhat depressed. That’s not a place I want to go back to so I decided I would have to go off the meds, and I did.


Next time I went to the doctor he asked how I was sleeping. I told him I had gone off the meds and was actually having trouble adjusting to falling asleep at a reasonable time on my own but I was dealing with it. He asked why I had stopped taking the medication and I told him it was giving me headaches.


I TOTALLY forgot about the other thing.


He was concerned that I’m still apparently not getting a good night’s sleep so he asked if I wanted to try the meds again but at half the dose, maybe I wouldn’t have the side effects but still get some benefit. Made sense to me so I said sure – why the hell not??


Because I’m a moron, THAT’S why not!!!


THAT’S why I’ve been in a funk. THAT’S why I “haven’t felt like it” – about everything. Where on earth did my mind go that at the moment my doctor asked me “why did you stop taking the pills?” my consciousness decided to go on vacation so what was left could give a canned response like “they gave me headaches?”


So I have decided I need to start getting ready for bed at night like most people do. With alcohol! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Okay, maybe that medicinal glass of red wine with all the flavonoids and antioxidants (which could be the same thing for all I know) will make me a tad bit sleepy and be good for me all at the same time. We will see.


But whatever I do, I need to get out of the funk and start getting some things done around here. It would probably help if the Internet had a test pattern at a certain time every day. It keeps me up way longer than the TV ever did!!



Ordinary


Haven’t been here lately, have I? And there is no particular reason either. I just haven’t felt like it and that’s strange for me. But there it is.


My reader got up to well over 250 posts at one point, so I did go in and read some, but not many. And I read them through my reader so while it may appear I haven’t been visiting any of you – in some cases I have. It’s so strange that there is guilt attached to that.


I remember reading someone’s post one day about how she had gone in and zeroed out her Google reader. Just clicked and marked all the posts as read. I can’t do that. So it may be a while before I comment anywhere because I will be pretty much only reading. It’s amusing to me that I can’t NOT read all the posts. I am afraid I might miss something.


*blink* *blink*


My son and I have been car pooling this week because his car is in the shop. His brand new, less than three month old car is being repaired. Because the boy hit a deer. I feel so bad for him because his last car simply died one day without so much as a death rattle to warn him. He decided to buy a new car, his first, and then this happens.


I will be forever grateful that Andy was not hurt because he certainly could have been. I am also grateful that he was able to drive the 2 hours he still had to get home, and that his insurance was up to date. The estimate for the damage was over $4000.00. With his insurance – he only has to pay $100.00 and the insurance company has been exceptionally helpful and cooperative. But holy cow, he was pretty heartbroken about it when it happened.


Can’t blame him one bit. I am a bit heartbroken for him.


Speaking of heartbreak, (such a segue) my daughter comes home from school this weekend for the summer. And helping her bring her belongings home is the “new boy”. I wondered why Dani hadn’t commented on the birthday post I did for her in February until I realized it was probably because I had posted a picture of her and her boyfriend and they were well on their way to breaking up at that point. Oops. I didn’t know.


Truly though, it was traumatic for her in the sense that she had to make a decision to let go of something she thought she would always have and that’s never easy and pretty scary. I hated to see her cry and go through the emotions of breaking it off with her first love. I was a bit heartbroken for her too. But she is okay and so is he.


So now there is a new boy. And I get to meet him on Mother’s Day. Me and my 4 cats, and he is allergic. Heh.


I will try to get caught up in my reading and hopefully start commenting again. Maybe I will find some inspiration for posting in my day to day ordinary life.


But I simply feel like I got nothin’. And I don’t know why.